CHARLES TOWN – School Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson-Learn has placed her Charles Town home up for sale.
Gibson declined to comment on the reason her home was listed for sale, and whether that signals her departure from the top administrative position for Jefferson County’s public schools.
Her current four-year contract with Board of Education ends May 31. She earns an annual salary of $175,644, including $700 monthly supplemental pay for car expenses.
Hired as superintendent in May 2015, Gibson’s leadership tenure has been marked by declining student enrollment and public controversy in recent years, including dogged criticism from often politically conservative-minded parents and teachers. Those controversies have included a failed 2019 lawsuit to seize the Rockwool factory property by eminent domain and persistent talk of low teacher and employee morale. They include targeted pay raises given without public notice or comment to 37 central school office administrators during the pandemic; a Black Math Genius summer school math program promoted almost exclusively to black students; and the temporary suspensions of two school bus drivers for attending a Trump political rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The bus driver suspensions prompted an ongoing federal lawsuit.
During the current pandemic-prompted labor shortage, Jefferson’s public school system has struggled to fill jobs in the classroom, on buses and in cafeterias. Office administrators have sometimes filled those positions as a stopgap to keep school operating as well as possible. The worker shortage recently caused school administrators to impose half-day class schedules on Fridays.
Placed on the sales market on Veterans Day, Gibson’s two-story Queen Anne Victorian home on East Washington Street features a list price of $425,000. She purchased the 1896 home for $370,000 in April 2020 that features various renovations, including “gourmet kitchen features” and a seven-foot jacuzzi tub, according the sales notice.
Hired by four of the five current Board of Education members, Gibson previously rented a home in the Huntfield subdivision next to Washington High School.
In July, Gibson, 52, married a professional counselor, Cynthia Learn, prompting a change to add “Learn” to Gibson’s surname.
On her resume posted online, Gibson lists her accomplishments as superintendent as supporting the highest student college testing scores in West Virginia; achieving an “exemplary” Advance Placement pass rates, “including minority populations”; and implementing the state’s first social-emotional support program.
With a nearly $110 million general operating budget, Jefferson County Schools service roughly 8,500 students and has staff of approximately 1,200 employees.
A native of Georgia, Gibson was chosen to lead Jefferson County’s schools from a list of 35 applicants vying for the superintendent position. She replaced Susan Wall, a lifelong county resident who worked for the county school system for 36 years.
Gibson has about 30 years of experience working in education and “human services,” according to a her resume posted online and a brief description of her professional background on the county school system’s website. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in special education and a doctorate in educational administration.
Before arriving in Jefferson County, Gibson served as a deputy superintendent for Henrico County’s public schools, a school district with 52,000 students and 6,000 employees operating with a $600 million budget.
Her resume lists an accomplishment from her Henrico County tenure as passing the “only self-imposed restaurant tax” in Virginia that increased the school system’s revenue by $21 million annually.
Her previous education roles include serving as a civil rights office for the Virginia Department of Education, as director of special education for Greene County Schools in Virginia, and a director and adjunct professor for Piedmont Virginia Community College.